The Power of the Mind and What It Can Make You Believe & See. (Body Dysmorphia)

          Today I just wanted to touch on the mind and body really quick. I was thinking a lot about Body Dysmorphia the past few weeks, and I thought it was interesting how much our minds can play tricks on us. I was thinking about me when I was in my early twenties and me at this moment now. In a past post I shared my crazy gym routine (from when I was around 21) I mentioned how a lot of people thought I was getting too skinny. Some people thought it was to the point of concern. They expressed their concerns to me and my family. In that moment I thought it was odd because my weight was in the healthy range, and to be honest it leaned more to higher half than the lower. I wasn’t even close to being underweight for my height. Some people thought I was either starving myself of on some type of substance. I thought they were being ridiculous because in the mirror I still felt chubby. I’ve always been the person who weighs more than I look, so I was so hung up on the number that I could see what they saw. I didn’t have an eating disorder and I wasn’t on any type of substance. I was just working out like a mad woman. Working out was my therapy and I was doing it as if it was a part time job (4 to 6 hours a day, 6 to 7 days a week). Sometimes I would even go back to the gym for a night workout. I still ate everything I wanted, I was just burning over 1000 calories a day and intermittent fasting without realizing I was even intermittent fasting. It was similar to OMAD and the Warrior’s diet. I just began eating in a small window due to my new schedule, but I was still fitting in all 3 meals at one time.

          Later on, I ended up going back to college and living on campus. My routine went down the drain and I started to gain back some weight. I remember looking back at those old pictures and I was surprised that I looked so small. I looked like a lollipop to be honest. I toned down a lot and I remember thinking that I didn’t ever want to be that small again. It just didn’t look right on me, but why didn’t I see it differently when I was in that moment. I’ve also witnessed this with other people on their journeys. They saw something different in the mirror as well and it wasn’t until they got out of it, they could see what everyone else saw.

          So, let’s fast forward to the present. In a previous Chasing Happiness post I mentioned how I wanted to lose weight. I gained a lot during the last couple years due to depression, grief, and quarantine. I told myself that I was going to get serious, because there were so much going wrong in my life that I just wanted something to go right. Since late spring I’ve been working out a few times a weeks and intermittent fasting. I wasn’t stepping on the scale out of fear. I just didn’t want to feel discouraged and defeated. My clothes were getting loose, but I was still afraid to step on that scale. I didn’t see the changes when I looked in the mirror. I still felt the same and I told myself I wasn’t going to step on the scale until I noticed a difference.

          The time came where I could no longer avoid it. I had to step on the scale for my annual checkup and surprisingly I lost 35 pounds. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t see a 35-pound lost in the mirror, so I was caught off guard a bit. I don’t know what happened after that but the next day it was like I was seeing myself in new eyes. I could finally see my weight loss. It’s like seeing that number unlocked something for me, and I didn’t see the person I was 4 to 5 months ago in the mirror. How strange is that? The comments of people applauding my weight loss couldn’t make me see it. My loose-fitting clothes couldn’t make me see it but seeing that number on the scale was the trick. Maybe it’s a sign. Maybe the lesson is to stop running from the truth and trust myself a little more. Maybe I wouldn’t have stressed as much as I did if I would’ve known how much progress I was making. It’s amazing what our minds can do and how it affects the way we view ourselves. If only I can start seeing myself as the person that I want to be then maybe I could actually believe. Lately I’ve been focusing on what’s wrong in my life when maybe I should start focusing on what’s right. Any type of progress should be celebrated. I might still be far from all of my goals (in all areas of my life), but I’m making a lot of progress. I tend to worry a lot and my anxiety can get the best of me, but eventually I make it to my destination. I may be dragging myself in blood, sweat and tears over the finish line, but I always manage to finish the task.


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